A desperately ill dog has survived a life-or-death drama thanks to an emergency operation and blood transfusion at London Vet Specialists.
The traumatic ordeal began when 10-year-old poodle Misha collapsed at home and was seen by Village Vet in Hampstead for emergency care.
The ECC vets performed an abdominal ultrasound and blood tests, which showed an alarming drop in her red blood cell count with each ongoing test.
The Village Vet team realised there was no time to waste and Misha was transferred to London Vet Specialists (LVS) in Belsize Park for specialist care.
Dr Janet Kovak McClaran, an American and European Specialist in Soft Tissue surgery, took charge of the case and revealed the danger Misha was facing.
Dr McClaran explained: “A CT scan revealed a ruptured mass of Misha’s right adrenal gland was the source of her blood loss.
“The only way to save her life and stop the bleeding was to perform immediate, emergency surgery.
“Adrenal gland tumours are uncommon and represent less than 1 per cent of all tumours in dogs.
“The glands are important for maintenance of blood pressure, control of water and salt balance, and immune system control.
“They also produce important substances called glucocorticoids which regulate glucose levels and blood pressure, and mineralocorticoids, which control electrolyte levels.”
The rarity of the condition was not the only cause for concern as the required surgery is a real challenge, too.
Dr McClaran added: “Surgery to remove the adrenal gland is risky and reports of up to 40 per cent mortality rate have been documented.
“For Misha, the risk was even higher as she was losing so much blood, so quickly.
“Our anaesthesia and surgery specialists were able to put all of their knowledge and training to the test in this challenging case.
“At the time of the surgery, we couldn’t know if the mass in her adrenal gland was benign or malignant but we at least we could remove the ruptured gland and stop the bleeding using a specialized vessel sealing device.
“Misha needed a blood transfusion during surgery to replace the red blood cells she had lost but she was a real fighter and recovered well.
“She then stayed with us for several days and nights of round the clock care and close monitoring and our emergency team of veterinarians and nurses played a big role in her amazing recovery.
“Misha was soon back to her old bouncing self within a week or so and we all wish her long, happy and healthy life!”
LVS is a multidisciplinary veterinary referral facility which offers expert care in anaesthesia and analgesia, critical care, cardiology, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, oncology, ophthalmology and surgery.